Participatory foreign economic policy

While Switzerland's external trade relations make a decisive contribution to the prosperity of the population in economic terms, formulating foreign economic policy on this basis can seem abstract. Therefore, it is important that any approach to developing Swiss foreign economic policy must be transparent and enjoy broad political support.


Increasing transparency and participation

  • Switzerland pursues a transparent foreign economic policy that is accessible to stakeholders.

  • Regularly engaging in dialogue with stakeholders boosts transparency and helps ensure that national economic and social interests are represented.

  • It systematically provides information about new regulations and agreements. It also reports on its regular exchange with stakeholders.
Sources: SECO, own illustration.

Interacting with domestic policy

  • Switzerland carefully evaluates new regulations and assesses the approaches of its key economic partners. In doing so, it gives due consideration to both the foreign economic and domestic policy implications of regula-tions. The benefits to the economy as a whole always take priority.

  • A number of trends have raised the public profile of foreign economic policy. However, domestic political actors tend to pursue very different and sometimes protectionist goals in this respect. This can give rise to tensions that require foreign economic policy to strike a balance between competing interests. Regulatory policy plays a key role, especially in the case of blurry lines between foreign economic and domestic policy implications.

  • The options, costs and benefits must be carefully analysed in each individual case; this can be done by conducting a regulatory impact assessment.

Last modification 22.11.2021

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